Lakeville Area Public Schools’ dedicated staff members work day in and day out to help students. On May 25, the district took time to thank them for their hard work and commitment to students’ academic success.
The district recognized 190 staff members, 29 retirees and seven Friends of Education at the event. Those honored included teachers and staff who have reached 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35-year service milestones. All told, the retirees and honored staff have a combined 3,927 years of service educating students.
Each retiree, service honoree and Friend of Education was presented with a picture drawn by students at Christina Huddleston Elementary School and Early Childhood Family Education programs as well as a wooden plaque that was laser engraved with a hand-written note by a colleague or student. Each plaque was made by students in the Lakeville South High School STEM Academy. In a short video, teacher Kurt Weber told attendees how honored the students were to have created the plaques. Many of the honorees and their guests started to tear up as one of the students described what it meant to him to have the opportunity to work on the awards.
The district also recognized its Friends of Education at the event. Sarah Matasosky received the Friend of Education Volunteer Service Award; Chris Casey received the Friend of Education Business and Community Partnership Award; and Maureen Carrigan, a staff member and volunteer coach of the robotics programs, received the Friend of Education Distinguished Service Award. Middle school activities director Harry Robbins, Julie Ryan and Kim Budenski from Early Childhood Family Education, and Kari Dykhoff of Lakeville South High School each received Friend of Education exceptional educator awards.
Guests were moved as Dykhoff, a Lakeville South High School math teacher who works with the Connections program, described the joy she feels as she sees students begin believing in their own abilities. Sometimes, students just need someone to believe in their abilities so the students can begin to believe in those abilities themselves. When teachers see that happen, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences they can have, Dykhoff said.
“Every child you pass in the hallway has a story that needs to be heard. Maybe you are the one meant to hear it,” Dykhoff said.
Superintendent Dr. Lisa Snyder thanked each of the community and staff members for their contributions to Lakeville Area Public Schools.
“These awards truly symbolize the hard work and dedicated passion of the staff and community members here today,” Snyder said. “Without each of you fulfilling your critical role, we could not make our mission possible.”
Education Minnesota-Lakeville previously recognized its Teachers of the Year. The annual awards recognize an elementary and a secondary teacher for their dedication to students and families on a daily basis. Don Sinner, president of EML, said the teachers exemplify the highest standards and qualities of a professional educator.
The honorees include Mary Zilge, a K-5 music specialist at Cherry View Elementary School, and Rachel Trebil, who teaches sixth grade math, Math 180 and seventh grade AVID at Kenwood Trail Middle School.
Read more about the EML awards here.